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The Day In MMA: Ronda Rousey, Chris Weidman Out With Injuries, Rogan vs. Merchant and UFC 176

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Photo courtesy UFC Facebook page.

So what happens when you fight Lyoto Machida? Even if you win, you get beat up.

UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman is likely out until January, 2015 because of injuries to his jaw, right, ribs and ankle. Weidman won the fight Saturday night, outdistancing Machida, winning by unanimous decision.

Weidman was certainly knocked silly in the fight  few times, but managed to stay on his feet and avoid any follow-up by the hard-hitting karate expert Machida.

In a post-fight interview, Weidman said he didn’t remember much about the fight.

Machida is suspended until Sept. 4 because of a facial cut, but otherwise is ready to go.

Rousey, the blonde Mike Tyson didn’t look like she did enough to get injured Saturday night, but it turns out she injured her right hand on one of the several punches landed on Alexis Davis. Rousey popped a cyst that formed on her right hand and will need time for it heal.

Both Machida and Rousey may fight sooner if a doctor clears them.

So obviously Rousey won’t be stepping in to save UFC 176, which was oddly hinted at by Joe Rogan in her post-fight interview. Rogan claimed the production truck told him to ask her if she was willing to fight on Aug. 2, as the main event after Jose Aldo pulled out of his main event against Chad Mendes.

Rousey said she needed knee surgery, but that she would be ready to go if her team wanted her to fight. After the interview, UFC President Dana White went nuts on camera, screaming at Rogan for asking the question. White now says he was upset with the production team, but the moment was telling because it shows how scripted Rogan is in his interviews. That he would ask the top fighter in the world a question about whether she would fight in a month, based on the orders of someone in his ear piece, shows that Rogan does what he is told in post-fight interviews.

Compare that with famous HBO boxing announcer Larry Merchant, who had no problem going off-script when he interviewed fighters. Watch this video from 2011 when he interviewed Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The UFC does a lot of things right, but one area it could improve upon is better post-fight interviews. Rogan should not be such a cheerleader for the fighters, but rather ask them some hard questions.

Everyone is wondering if the UFC will cancel UFC 176 since it doesn’t have a headliner anymore. That’s the problem with the UFC’s monthly PPVs. The PPV drives the fights, the fights don’t drive the PPV. There aren’t enough great fights worthy of monthly PPVs and when things go bad, it leaves a less-than-stellar undercard.

The next top fight would be former Strikeforce light heavyweight champions Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. That’s actually a fantastic fight that if the two guys were more well-known to the UFC audience, would be a great main event. They are two of the top middleweights in the world.

The UFC should keep UFC 176 on, turn Mousasi and Souza into a 5-round fight and promote the heck out of it the next month to get people into it.

The storyline is simple:

“It’s the rematch the MMA world has been waiting for. Mousasi, the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, one of the most dominant fighters of the last decade, battles Souza, who is on a wicked roll through the UFC’s middleweight division. Both fighters want to taste UFC gold and know they will have to get through each other to make it happen. For Mousasi, it’s about finally realizing the potential so many believe he has. For Souza, it’s about breaking free in the post-Anderson Silva era, and earning his spot as the dominant submission specialist in the UFC’s middleweight division. He also wants to avenge a loss from 2008, when Mousasi knocked him cold with an up-kick. It’s a fight for the ages among two former champions, both wanting to be on top once again.”

If the UFC gets these two guys some TV time, this is the kind of fight that could surprise a lot of people.

 

“These two former champions, two of the best fighters in the UFC, look to take the next step toward UFC gold when they collide, in a match that has the MMA world abuzz. Mousasi wants to pro